Save the date! Wheaton’s 185th Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2020.

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Commencement Ceremony

The Commencement exercises officially begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020.

You may bring as many family members and guests as you like to Commencement–no tickets are required and the ceremony is held outdoors in the Dimple.

We hardy New Englanders are committed to remaining outside for the ceremony if at all possible.  Please wear or bring appropriate layers of clothing, particularly for those in your family who may be elderly or very young. In the event of extreme weather condition, we will relocate to the Beard Field House in the Haas Athletic Center. If we do need to move indoors because of weather conditions, for the comfort and the safety of everyone, further updates will be provided at that time.

Commencement programs will be available at the four corners around the Dimple and in front of Cole Memorial Chapel. These locations will be designated by blue and white balloons.

**PLEASE NOTE: Helium balloons are absolutely not allowed in the Beard Field House if the Commencement Ceremony is moved indoors due to the fire suppression system’s sensitivity. 

Webcast: For those who are not able to be on campus for the celebration, the ceremony will be live-streamed on the web and available for viewing in the Cole Memorial Chapel for those that may choose not to venture to the Field House.


We understand everyone wants photos to capture this joyous occasion. In order to make this the best experience for everyone, we ask that you refrain from crowding the graduates. A photographer from GradImages® will take individual photos of graduates as they cross the Commencement platform and receive their diploma and a second time after they’ve exited the stage.

Students will receive an email at their Wheaton email address with information about how to order their Commencement photos online soon after graduation. Inquiries about photographs can be made to GradImages® at 800-261-2576 or by visiting their website.

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Accommodations-Disability Assistance

If you are in need of disability assistance, please contact Autumn Grant by April 16, 2020 by completing the following form: Commencement Accessibility Request Form. Autumn Grant can also be reached at 508-286-8215 or via email at:

Accommodations-Accessible Seating

Persons with disabilities, who have requested seating accommodations for the Commencement ceremony, should contact Accessibility Services at 508-286-8215 or via email ( with any questions or if you have not received confirmation via email. Please note that seating space is limited to the individual with the disability and one family member. Additional family members may sit in the general seating area. For those needing to rent medical equipment such as wheelchairs, a local vendor is available: County Square Pharmacy (508-222-7620).

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Parking and Shuttle Buses

We are fortunate to have community partners so close by who allow us to use their large parking areas and we will shuttle guests back and forth to and from the campus.

We encourage you to go directly to the Norton High School, at 66 West Main Street. There you will have ample parking and a seating area to utilize while waiting in between shuttles.

Additional on campus parking is available, however limited in number, in Parking Lots 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10.

The shuttle buses will run regularly beginning at 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. They will pick up guests at the Norton High School and will stop to pick up and drop off passengers in Lots 1, 2 and 3 and at the Haas Athletic Center.

Those wishing to drop off guests with accessibility concerns or small children should do so by entering Howard St./Rt. 123 and pulling into the small circular drive on the left (Larcom Circle). Accessible shuttles will also be running between Norton High School and Lot 3.

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On Saturday morning, Commencement Day, the Balfour-Hood Center Café will be open with coffee and beverages for purchase for those who arrive early and wish to visit with graduates, friends and family members before the ceremony begins.

A water station will be located in front of the Chapel for access to filtered water.

Private Parties

We understand how exciting the event of Commencement is, and everyone’s desire to celebrate the special occasion. The college has planned many activities to do just that—celebrate and honor our graduates and alumnae/I classes.

In order to do this all college services will be committed to such events. This means that, unfortunately, we will be unable to accommodate requests or provide services on campus for private parties during Senior Week and the Commencement Reunion Weekend.

You are welcome to picnic on campus with your family and friends; however, we ask that no charcoal grills be used, the State of Massachusetts alcohol laws are followed, and all picnic supplies brought to campus are removed.

We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

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Weekend Activities for Parents and Families

There are a variety of events on campus Friday afternoon and evening specifically for parents, families, and guests, which at this time have not been impacted by any pending weather circumstances.  The President’s Reception honoring members of the graduating class and special guests will be held at 5:00 p.m. in the Chapel Field with rain location of Balfour-hood Atrium.

Other events beginning at approximately 12:00 p.m. on Friday and continuing throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Events may include a Greenhouse Open House, Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, an exhibition of work by senior visual art majors, Theatre Ensemble Experiments, and a concert by the student a cappella groups. Click here for example of last year’s special events (2019). Please consider joining us on Friday.

Graduation Photos and Announcements

A photographer from GradImages® will take individual photos of graduates as they cross the Commencement platform and with their diploma after they’ve exited the stage. Students will receive an email at their Wheaton email address with information about how to order their Commencement photos online soon after graduation. Inquiries about photographs can be made to GradImages® at 800-261-2576 or by going to their website.

Graduation announcements by Jostens (non-personalized) may be purchased at the Wheaton College Old Town Hall Bookstore (508-286-3430) beginning in mid-March. The Senior Class officers will provide information to their classmates about ordering personalized announcements through Jostens in the early spring.

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Graduation Press Releases

Please remind your graduating senior to confirm their correct local newspaper information via the WINDOW (Wheaton Information Delivered Over the Web) before May 11. Per federal law, only your graduate can authorize the release of this information (reminders and instructions will be sent via e-mail to all seniors). Should you have questions about graduation press releases, we suggest you send an e-mail to:

Moving Out Day

Students will need to move out of their residence halls and houses by 5 PM Saturday afternoon, May 16th. Seniors who live in the New England area generally cope with their final departure by starting to move things home in the final weeks of the semester. While we don’t expect those living at a greater distance to do this, we do encourage students to pack during Senior Week, prior to Commencement, so they are ready to move by Commencement Day. In order to avoid last-minute packing at the end of Commencement Day, please remind your graduate to prepare in advance to leave campus. They should remember to return their keys to either the Locksmith (open until 8 p.m. on Commencement Day) or Public Safety before leaving campus. Seniors should also pay close attention to communications from Residential Life for more details.

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Weekend Dining

More detailed information regarding locations, times, and meal ticket purchase will be available closer to the date.  All meals require tickets from Dining Services in advance.  The graduates’ meals are free.

For additional information or any questions, please call Dining Services at 508-286-8209.


Traveling to Wheaton, Local Restaurants and Area Accommodations

Information about directions to Wheaton, local restaurants and area accommodations may be found on the Wheaton website.


For Further Information:

Dean of Students Office: 508-286-8218


Commencement officially celebrates the academic achievement of the Class of 2020 and all the support of families, friends, faculty and staff. Congratulations!

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